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Anti-Racism Update (September)

Work to develop our anti-racist approach has been continuing across the summer break and we continue to be grateful for the time and input of our student community as we co-create our action plan, and make progress towards anti-racism.  In today’s bulletin we update on discussions with the Unlearn Collective, we share details about activities taking place during Black History Month, and we provide an update on our Race Equality Charter work. A full update can be found below. 

For more details about any of this, or to get involved please contact Lizzie Caughey/Jen Fook Business Managers to the Provost (Job Share) on

The Unlearn Collective

August has seen the important anti-racism conversations continuing with a meeting taking place last week with representatives from the Unlearn Collective.  Janice Kay, Provost, and Linda Peka, Deputy Registrar, joined the Collective and the Guild for continuing discussion and action identification around the need for evidence based action, decolonising the curriculum, the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic awarding gap, visibility of this work and the Guild Societies. We really look forward to continuing dialogue with the Unlearn Collective with the Unlearn Collective and welcome discussions with our community of students.

Following the first meeting with the Unlearn Collective, the University has been able to identify a fund of £25,000 to empower students to lead on anti-racism Education initiatives, using our change-agent frameworks. The details of this process are currently being considered in consultation with our community and we will announce further details shortly. This will complement existing support for staff initiatives through the Provost Commission, in particular the recently launched Community of Practice in Cultural Competence with the University of Georgetown, and projects supported through the Education Incubator.   

Black History Month 2020

Preparations for Black History Month in October have begun across the University. Following the success of previous years, the EDI Team will be working with our community to help develop and promote activities, and we are planning on hosting a virtual exhibition hall to adapt to the online environment. If you’d like to discuss any ideas please feel free to get in touch with the EDI team, or Beth Pitcher, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor.

Update on our Race Equality Charter (REC) work:

Work commenced on the REC journey in October 2019, with a process for the recruitment to the Self-Assessment Team. The Self-Assessment Team is made up of students and staff from across the university and is responsible for undertaking a full evaluation of race equality across the university, developing appropriate actions in response and leading the institution’s application for the Race Equality Charter Mark (RECM).  Our Self-Assessment Team is chaired by Professor Janice Kay (Provost) and had its first meeting on the 15th of January 2020. It has since met in April and June 2020, and will meet twice each term going forward.

To support our application for the RECM, we were required to undertake two mandatory surveys: one student survey and the other a staff survey. We undertook both surveys in the spring. The total number of responses were: 1832 (Students: 1199, Staff: 633)). We are currently analysing the surveys and anticipate the survey report will be available at the end of August 2020. The survey findings will be incorporated into our Race Equality Action Plan going forward.

For further information on our Race Equality work, please contact Niema Bohrayba-(Race Equality Charter Manager):